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Jitli at the PSCC

Wednesday 30 April 2014, by C&D Office

Our Pluralistic Spiritual Community Centre (PSCC) hosted members of the Jitli program last week. As a preparation for their summer camp trip around Israel, a select number of their young councillors were touring the country. Their stay with us consisted of an extended tour of our village, several workshops and a musical performance by a joint Jewish-Arab band.

The group was equally divided between Jews from San Diego, USA, and Sha’ar Hanegev, Israel, and Muslims and Bedouins from Segev Shalom and Lakiya (both in Israel). The numbers were also equal between boys and girls.

This preparatory three week trip, which they started off at our PSCC, also serves as a bonding opportunity for the young councillors, so that the summer camp would be able to run more smoothly.

In the morning, Eitan took them to see the village, to get a first glance of Wahat al-Salam / Neve Shalom, and to get them to start thinking about the people living here. At 11 o’clock they were welcomed by Dafna, the director of the PSCC, who also introduced them to the history of the Neve Shalom / Wahat al-Salam through a short film about Bruno Hussar, the founder of our village. They were joined by Reuven Moshkovitz (a holocaust survivor), who also played his harmonica.

At noon, one of our village members, Salam, led a workshop, showing them how to cook a traditional Palestinian meal (Bread pockets with spinach). After lunch, Ety led a dancing workshop with them. The dancing workshop took them on a tour through different styles of dancing.

There were two more workshops in the afternoon. At four o’clock, Raja (also from our village) worked on language awareness here in Israel, looking at the relationship between Arabic and Hebrew and what this means for the speakers of these languages. At six o’clock, Shai led a workshop on story telling, to get them thinking about identity and reflect on the impact the conflict has on them.

The day was concluded by a small musical ensemble (friends of the Jitli organisation), which consisted of two Jews and two Arabs making music together to take the participants on a journey. The music serves as a bridge and common language, and can guide the Jitli participants for the rest of their trip.

The next morning, Eitan took them on another tour to see the diversity of population in the wider area around the village, as well as to visit a neglected World War I memorial site. The group met with representatives in the nearby Kibbutz Nachshon, a nearby Moshav, and took a look at the fence to the West Bank.

Their visit was concluded by a closure session with Eitan, Diana and Dafna. Many of the participants expressed their gratitude at this meeting and said how happy they were to bring the rest of the Jitli program over the summer to PSCC, and even send another delegation to the Bustan workshop also organised by the PSCC.

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